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Research Activities

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July 2005, No. 299


About Research Activities

Feature Story

Adverse drug events occur frequently in long-term care facilities, and nearly half of them are preventable

Quality/Medical Errors

Linking lab and pharmacy databases can help identify patients who don't undergo followup for abnormal tests
Radiologists with more experience reading mammograms aren't necessarily more accurate in interpreting them
Publicly reporting quality information may inadvertently reduce, rather than improve, care quality
Physicians should disclose financial incentives, address patients' reactions, and negotiate a fair plan to win trust
New Web-based ICU safety reporting system may have the potential to reduce medical errors at ICUs across the country
Executive walk rounds are a promising tool for improving the safety climate of hospitals

Pharmaceutical Research

Use of atypical antipsychotic drugs to treat children continues despite questions about their safety and efficacy in the young
Despite recent downward trends in antibiotic use among children, use of some broad-spectrum antibiotics has increased
Limited use of cephalosporins may reduce E. coli and Klebsiella bloodstream infections in hospitalized children
Fluoroquinolones were the most commonly prescribed class of antibiotics for adults in 2002
Patient education may reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics by adults
Both group and individual academic detailing can improve prescribing of antihypertensive medications
Higher copayments of 3-tier drug formularies reduce the likelihood that individuals will use certain medications

Women's Health

Prenatal screening and treatment are needed to identify pregnant women with asymptomatic chlamydial infections
Study finds that screening asymptomatic, low-risk pregnant women for hepatitis C virus is not cost effective

Disparities/Minority Health

More minority and Medicaid-insured children experience perforated appendicitis than other children
Some care disparities among blacks may be due to low technology use in hospitals that treat mostly black patients
Efforts to help physicians improve care for underserved patients should address issues of communication and respect


Chiropractic care is more expensive but not more effective than medical care for the treatment of low back pain
Stem cell transplant centers that have greater physician involvement in patient care have better patient outcomes
Participation in a physically active lifestyle during mid-life helps to maintain high physical function in later years

Clinical Decisionmaking

AHRQ study finds weight-loss surgeries quadrupled in 5 years
Certain clinical factors can accurately identify patients at low risk of active TB who don't need respiratory isolation
Researchers examine prevalence of and testing for celiac disease
Poor diets of urban men with paraplegia underscore the importance of screening these patients for chronic diseases

Primary Care Research

Clinician training and charting tools can improve primary care screening and counseling of adolescents about risky behaviors
Alcohol-based hand gel use may reduce respiratory illness transmission in homes with young children enrolled in day care

Acute Care/Hospitalization

Trauma center patients are much more likely to have experienced previous traumas than the general population

Public Health Preparedness

National advisory committee on children and terrorism makes first recommendations for preparedness

Long-term Care

Nursing homes vary widely in their hospitalization of residents, particularly those with Alzheimer's disease

Rural Health

Access to transportation substantially influences rural residents' use of health care services

Health Care Costs and Financing

Older people in HMOs and PPOs use more outpatient and preventive services than those in fee-for-service plans
Study questions whether competition among HMOs will inherently improve care quality

Agency News and Notes

Task Force recommends HIV screening for all pregnant women
First phase of reviews are beginning under AHRQ's new research program on the effectiveness of health care interventions


New grants focus on helping primary care providers promote healthy behaviors in their patients
AHRQ releases the 2005 Guide to Clinical Preventive Services and other new publications
AHRQ releases evidence reports on depression among heart attack patients and three other topics
New report analyzes the use and potential for improvement of hospital discharge databases
AHRQ research trainee in the spotlight
Research Briefs

Current as of July 2005
AHRQ Publication No. 05-0093

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